YSEALI Program: from Summer School to Town Hall by President Obama and Professional Fellow Program
I’ve been still telling people about my experience from the 2015 YSEALI summer school organized by the Economic Fulbright Teaching Program until now – about how I intensively learnt from the course and how I met with all the talented young people around Vietnam. It was my first time I became a YSEALI alumni which opened me a great deal of chances following: chances of knowledge, challenges, friendship, connection and importantly chances of helping my community. I was at the Town Hall when the President Barack Obama visited Vietnam in 2016. My friend and I received small grant from YSEALI to implement our educational project in Can Tho city. And now, still feeling unbelievable, I’ve already done packing and I am going to visit the US through the Professional Fellow Program this autumn.
From paddy fields in Vietnam to Ontario
I was announced by lovely staffs of ICMA that I would be hosted by the City of Ontario (Oregon) over two months ago. I contacted Mr. Adam Brown – the city manager of Ontario and arranged a Skype Call with him. I was worried but excited before the call, however Mr. Brown and his staff Mr. Peter Hall were so nice and gentle which erased all my worrisome. “Relax and learn” was what I was told. Their city hosted 2 fellows last year and they loved them very much.
I’ve been working in development projects, particularly rural development and climate change adaptation. I worked with the People Committee and farmers in rural towns. By those ways, I find Ontario very alike and perfectly fulfilling my expectation. Through the four-week fellowship at Ontario, I expect to gain firsthand experience and knowledge of how my host community organize to deal with their environmental challenges. It’s not only about the ideas of solving certain problems but also the process of how people identify the problems, how to discuss and come up with a solution, implement and evaluate it. I look at the city on the Internet and I am so excited to see farming activities there and the beautiful mountainous area around. I also would love to bring beautiful culture of Vietnam to people in my host community.
I believe the fellow program will bring a great chance to meet with many environmentalists and other people currently devoting in development, whom I can listen, talk to and be inspired. Being gathered together with other fellows from Southeast Asia extremely excites me as well.
Besides, I learnt and pictured the United States through books, movies, music, and YSEALI programs organized in Vietnam, and now I’ve finally gotten a chance to go, see, and experience all such culture of diversity. Broadway musical, country music, jazz, football are all I desire to experience when in America this time or at least once in my life. I am also waiting for the Congress to meet fellows from all over the world to exchange interesting things from our culture.
I am flying tomorrow, and the US – please wait for me.